I was recently shopping at a popular drugstore chain and noticed the collection of shiny body lotion bottles gleaming from the shelves. Now, I am not in the market for body lotion at the moment as shea butter and natural oils are my bffs; but, I am a product hoarder and find it impossible to walk past the beauty aisle without examining everything the industry has to offer…even if I don’t need it. As I looked through all the heavenly-scented formulas ranging from from passionfruit mango and hibiscus lavender, I decided, what the heck, I could splurge on a new lotion. I then pulled out my phone and activated my Think Dirty app, which scans products and lets you know if they contain harmful ingredients, and was surprised that every product I picked up contained harmful carcinogens. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. If you want to know if the current products you are using are nontoxic, or you want to make an informed decision before buying something new, here’s a round up of my favorite apps that let’s you know the potential dangers of beauty products.
Think Dirty – As mentioned above, this is my go to app when in a retail store. The app features a barcode scanning feature that will spit out a product’s safety rating on a scale from 1-10 (with 10 being the most toxic). It also breaks down each ingredient that may be harmful so you understand why it got a good or bad rating. As an added bonus, in a separate tab, the app provides recommendations for cleaner alternatives. If you don’t have a product’s barcode handy, you can search by the product’s name.
EWG Health Living App Powered by Skin Deep – Perhaps one of the major players leading the conversation on the safety of beauty products is the Environmental Working Group. You can scan a beauty or food product to see its safety rating. As an added bonus, you don’t need to download the app if you want to know the safety of your product, as the company’s website has a free search tool right on the homepage. The company offers “EWG Certified” labeling, which after going through a rigorous investigation, approved brands can feature on their packaging, so look out for this in stores as the program begins to roll out.
Skin Ninja – A newcomer on the scent, this app also lets you scan the barcode of products and lets you know its safety using street light colors: red (bad), amber (unclear) and green (all clear). Within each street light color will be the number of potential dangers, as the app analyzes 17 health concerns. As an added bonus, the app offers a generate a personalized Shelf Health Report, which analyzes your current products to let you know how toxic your current routine is, and recommends safer products.